Bay Bridge surprise winner of QIPCO Champion Stakes as Baaeed suffers sole defeat

Bay Bridge wins QIPCO Champion Stakes (Pic: Megan Ridgwell)

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BAY Bridge was a surprise 10-1 winner of the QIPCO Champion Stakes where hot-favourite Baaeed suffered the sole defeat of his career.

Victory in the £1.3 million contest secured the second Group 1 of the season for the trainer / jockey combination of Michael Stoute and Richard Kingscote who in June won the Cazoo Derby with Desert Crown.

Bay Bridge raced prominently on Saturday, going easily in second place before taking a clear lead from over a furlong out and kept on well to score by half a length from 2021 Derby winner Adayar.

My Prospero was a nose behind in third place, a length and a quarter ahead of his stablemate Baaeed, who could not maintain his perfect record on the final start of his superb career and retires with the record of 10 wins from 11 starts.

Stoute said: “Bay Bridge was very brave. I am absolutely thrilled. The staff have done a great job with this horse, and we are all delighted. 

“He was in very good shape coming here – he came back from Sandown with a knock and we had to back off him, so he’s been very consistent this year with the exception of that race. 

“We thought the favourite was unbeatable – or I did – but I thought he had a great chance of being second, because he was in terrific shape.” 

Asked how it feels to have beaten Baaeed, trained by Stoute’s great friend William Haggas, he replied: “I hope we are still friends! 

“I’m delighted to have won two Group One races this year. The staff have been brilliant and it’s down to them.”

William Haggas said of Baaeed: “It is deflating, but he is still a good horse. I’m sad he didn’t win for him and his connections, as well as all the people at the yard who have worked tirelessly to get him there. There you go, it’s horse racing. 

“Jim [Crowley] felt Baaeed just couldn’t pick up in the ground. I don’t know, I need to watch it again. All I know is he didn’t win. I was busy watching the others as well. I tend not to make an assessment straight after. 

“Let’s hope this is eradicated from people’s minds quite quickly. No disrespect to the others. I am thrilled for Sir Michael and we have a few horses with James and Anita Wigan [winning part-owners].

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